Sunday, 20 November 2011

Abandoned

When I was on the way back from my Dad's a couple of weeks ago, I stopped to take pictures of my Primary school in the next village. It has been empty for some years now, and I don't know what will happen to it in the future. The main buildings are lovely. Made from Kentish ragstone, they are very solid, and would make a great conversion project for someone with lots of cash-and who doesn't mind living on a main road.

I can remember a lot of things about this place-unusually for me as I have a terrible memory. This area is the site of the swimming pool which must have been demolished at some point. It was a pool which came up to the chest or neck of a small child and waist of a bigger one. I once feel I nearly drowned in it-I slipped and was under the water for what seemed like ages trying to get my footing. When I did and came up nobody had noticed!


It is also the site of some metal bars, which I managed to fall off of, and get a massive lump on my head-big enough to be sent home. There were also metal gates here-I hurt myself on those too-catching my finger between them and the frame. I still have a strangely shaped right forefinger because of this! It seems I was a little accident prone,
Over by those wooden railings was where the milk was left in crates. Lovely in the winter, revolting in the summer. It is also the entrance to some classrooms which back onto the railway. My friends and I were convinced there were railway worker's ghosts haunting this part of the school. (As well as the usual ones in the toilets!)This door has a little cloakroom behind it, and leads onto the hall. I remember assemblies in there, sitting on the parquet floor listening to Mr Chaston. There was a lovely cloth picture of the village which I used to spend a lot of time staring at. All the little houses were a different seventies type fabric-really beautiful! I also remember a play that we watched in there, where old fashioned leather suitcases flew across the space above our heads. To this day it feels like real magic, and at the time it certainly was.

Behind there, in the left hand side of the picture is the entrance to more classrooms and to the dinner hall and kitchen. I remember one maths lesson where we were taken into the kitchen and shown the giant red recipe book. The lesson was to convert one of the recipes which fed many, into one that would feed a few. Maths was not my strong point so although the visit to the kitchen was interesting, the conversion exercise was not!

The school office and the Head's office were in here. The murals are after my time.

Part of the playground where games of 'chain he', marbles, horses, and chase were played. 'Chain he' was terrifying-ending with a long line of children linked by their arms, bombing around the playground after those not in the chain. I think you had to grab onto the end to be safe-and to make the chain longer and harder to avoid.



This last view looks across to the garden of the house next door to the school-I think the vicarage-but may be wrong. We were allowed to play in this garden in the summer. The best thing about it was the enclosed space made at the end by trees-yew I think they may have been as they were very dark. Thrilling to hide in anyway!

19 comments:

Jenny Woolf said...

What a lovely evocation of this little school and how sad that it is abandoned. I loved reading your memories The school at Peaslake in Surrey was closed but the village has created a free school and moved back into the school buildings. It's the most brilliant school and the kids love it the whole village fund raises and of course it needs a lot of work but they run it as a village school with ofsted inspections etc. The authority wanted to take it back but they refused

The parents just wanted their kids to go to a small local school. Wish this could happen in your old school rather than being converted into a private house or worse still left to rot

Sam [Also known as Harry] said...

Thoughtful work... well done!

Jeanette said...

These buildings are lovely. It seems to be such a shame that they are unused.
Lovely photos.

snoopydog said...

Oh how lovely! What wonderful atmospheric photos of the pretty little school and such an evocative tale to go with them. LOvely! Hope you have a good week. ROs

Leenie said...

Hello, Sarah. I really enjoyed learning about your childhood school. Beautiful old buildings that need to be useful. I like the photographic effects too.

Places like that can carve memories deep in our minds. Just a whiff of the school-smell can make us feel like we are seven years old and can run like the wind...away from math class. ;o)

Sarah said...

I remember going to visit a school in Leicester when training to be a teacher and the smell was exactly like my old school. I don't know if schools smell quite the same now-the chalk dust and floor polish were a part of the aroma I think.

Linda Sue said...

What a sweet little school- I love the buildings of stone- so sad to let it slide away. I do hope that some one comes up with enough cash to renew it into something! Your school girl memories are hilarious- though full of bruises!
Sweet post!

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nana_ang_poppaphil said...

I love your photos, old buildings are so great to explore and photograph.

Lynne said...

What a wealth of memories. Our first schools hold a special place in our memories don't you think?

Tracy said...

What a beautiful place... and that ragstone is gorgeous...*sigh*... It is always so sad to see such wonderful buildings, buildings built to last too, just left to ruin away. Pretty patina you've used in the photos to add tot he patina of the place... I wonder what will happen to it... My old primary school was in a wonderful old brick building. I think it was demolished some years ago to make way for a new municiple building or some such... sad, really... Fun to share these memories with you, Sarah :o) Happy Week ((HUGS))

Genie said...

What a wonderful piece of your history still standing and looking to be in pretty good shape. Thanks goodness vandals have not destroyed it like they would here n the US. Your pictures of the school are beautiful. Such a wonderful post. genie

Sarah said...

Thanks everyone. I really enjoyed writing this post and taking the photos of the school. I would love to have a look inside the buildings too to see if they are as I remember them. I am going to try to find out what is going to happen to the school. Then I will win the lotteryy and save it from its fate-ha ha if only!

Carole said...

Thank you Sarah for your story and photos. I wish I had an endless supply of cash and time. I'd renovate and have you over for a cuppa on Sunday afternoons.

Queenie Believe said...

Beautiful photos and reflection on your old school. I have fond memories of my grade school building, a grand old red brick three story Victoria which has sinced closed too. Time does seem to march on.
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Serenata said...

These is an amazing post with such wonderful evocative photos of your old school providing these cherished memories.

rebecca said...

this is remarkably beautiful, all the more so with your memories laced in and out of the photographs. what a wonderful art retreat this would make. i see such old and fascinating relics and i want to adopt them like children longing to be cared for.

thank you for this excursion into your childhood journey. breathtaking.

Librarian said...

Hello Sarah, welcome to my blog as the latest "follower"!
Love this post of yours - I have a thing for abandoned places, and this old school house and the grounds very much appeal to the explorer in me.
I hope it won't be left to fall apart but something useful will be done with it.

Liz said...

I love old buildings like that! It's always so sad to see them in such disrepair.